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Windows 7: How do I recreate a System Reserved Partition?

19 Aug 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1 Build 7601
How do I recreate a System Reserved Partition?

Here is a description of what I think the problem is. These occurred over 2 years. Item #11 is my question, the rest is background.
1)Installed Windows 7 upgrade from Windows XP and kept a dual boot system for several months.
2)Changed the BCD to make it just boot to Windows 7.
3)Later deleted Windows 7 from my computer.
4)I needed to reinstall Win 7, but it wouldnít accept the product ID. Microsoft support said it was because XP was no longer present. They helped me solve that problem.
5)I later migrated Win 7 & other programs (all data are on separate HDDS) to a new SSD
6)Moved image of boot drive to a larger SSD, expanded the primary partition on the new drive to make the additional storage available.
7)Removed the old, smaller SSD from the computer, and kept it as a backup.
8)In the process of combining 2 partitions on a 3TB drive I noticed 100MB used for a System Reserved Partition. The SSD boot drive does not have one & neither Windows 7 or WinXP were on that HDD, so I didnít think it was used. I booted from a repair disk and used diskpart to delete that partition and another tool to merge it with the primary partition.
9)Now, Win 7 on my new SSD hangs at the splash screen. Trying to repair using my original Windows 7 installation disk doesnít work (and it wants to resurrect Win XP, which no longer exists except in the depths of the registry).
10)Iím back to running on the smaller SSD (Corsair Force 120 MB) I kept as a backup.
11)I know I can do a fresh install on the unbootable large SSD (Crucial M4 250 GB), but I'm concerned that I will have to first install XP & then the Windows 7 upgrade. That's a pain even though I have a slipstream SP3. Is there a way to recreate the System Reserved Partition and avoid that? Or is it likely something else is causing the problem?
Thanks for any help you can render

My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Aug 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Use a Windows 7 install disk and boot to "recovery environment". Mark the SSD partition ACTIVE. Try "startup repair".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1 Build 7601

Update: I tried this and got a screen saying "Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically"
In running diagnostics I saw the surprise shown here (there is no Windows software on E, which is likely related to my problem:

Thanks again for the suggestion.

Thanks, Kaktussot. I've been away for a day. I'll your approach tomorrow, but I've already tried what I could find with the Windows 7 installation disk. I saw "Repair", but don't recall anything under recovery except the offer to recover XP. But I'll try again. Thanks for responding.

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How do I recreate a System Reserved Partition?-screen-8.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Aug 2014   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16

What is your purpose for creating the System Reserved partition ?

The System Reserved partition is created when you install windows on unallocated space on the hard drive.

SSD Alignment
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2

I've used a System Partition for many years - Long before the release of Windows 7 - as it segregates the system boot operations from the actual operating system or systems. In practical terms this means that any changes to the overall system boot procedures, especially where Multi-boot systems are involved, can be performed more easily, and reliably.

It is not really needed, per se on a single OS machine but even here can provide a little extra security.

In this case I would create a new empty 200-300MB partition at the start of the new SSD, make this active and run the repair option from the installation disk, at least three times, on the new partition, this should set everything up correctly to boot from the new SSD.

However , due to the upgrade situation where this is an ex XP system that has been upgraded I would probably go for a clean install from a full install retail disk, This disk is available from legitimate online sites or could be borrowed from friends, family etc. A clean install should be performed on a completely empty SSD, indeed a formatted disk without any partitioning is often the best media - this re-install will remove all traces of the former XP install and reduce the possibilities of any future issues
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16

Agreed, just delete any partitions on the ssd down to unallocated space then install Windows 7

Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2

If you cannot obtain a full install disk this tutorial could be usefull to check out ...

Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #8
Microsoft MVP


You've been given several good suggestions. If you have any problems doing the Partition - Mark as Active to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times on either C or a SysReserved partition you Create Primary, please boot free Partition Wizard CD to take a picture of the full drive map and listings and post it back attaching picture using paper clip in Reply Box. We can normally spot the problem, like a Logical partition which needs to be converted to Primary first.

Burn PW CD ISO to disk using WIndows Image Burner. It can also be used to shrink to create SySReserved, Create and Format NTFS, Mark Active, and an interim step before repairs to highlight the disk # to Rebuild MBR from Disk tab which might preclude the need for the repairs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2014   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1 Build 7601

I extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you have taken time to answer my question. I have read every one of them (as well as many of the places they led me). I have decided that, though it might be interesting to try the various methods proposed to get that drive to boot again, I am rapidly approaching the point where I will have spent more time trying to avoid a fresh install than it would take me to do it. This is especially true since I learned from you how to download an up-to-date Windows 7 iso and install it without XP being present. So, I now have a list of all my installed programs and their IDs and disks or installer locations. Now all I need is time to do it. Iím going to try the UEFI approach, since Iím pretty sure my Asrock P67 Extreme 4 mobo supports it. I figure the worst that happen is that I'll have to start over.
I plan to unplug the small SSD Iím booting from now before I install Windows 7 on the larger one. I have a related question, which might be better on its own thread, but it is related to what Iíve decided to do based on your advice. I never got around to implementing ACHI because I didnít think to do it at first then became worried about what happen if did it later. This seems as good a time as any. My question is: should I do it before I unplug the current bootable SSD (which will become my new disaster recovery plan for a while) or after or does it make any difference? Once I select that option is it applied to all SATA drives? It didnít look like there was a way to just apply it to a single drive.
I am sorry for not replying for a few days. My little consulting company needed a lot of my attention and I need every nickel of revenue I can get from it, so I canít afford to put off responding to requests for help. I will let you all know if I am successful. Thank you again for all your suggestions. I learned from the suggestions Iím not going to use as well as the ones I am going to use. What a wealth of knowledge is available for the asking!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2014   #10
Microsoft MVP


You can first change to AHCI to make the smaller SSD bootable so it will plug and play without adjustment later: AHCI : Enable in Windows 7 / Vista. Note that these drives under AHCI can be hotplugged and may show up in your Safely Remove queue.

I'd look for any newer BIOS updates, too, to see what they offer as it may be related.

Then work through these same steps for Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which compile everything that's worked best in Windows 7 installs since beta and assure a perfect install as long as you stick with those tools and methods.

Be sure to delete all partitions during the booted install, pay close attention to the sections in red which deal with how drivers are best handled in the first driver-complete OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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